Tag Archives: songkran

Birthday Songkran

OK, it’s time I shared a secret with you…

Last week….

It was my BIRTHDAY!

Was that the biggest surprise ever?! I mean, anyone reading this blog would have been thinking “well, it’s business as usual over at Where is Sarah?” But the TRUTH is that I am just so mature now that I don’t even mention my birthday numerous times in every blog post for the month of April. I’m way cooler than that.

Soooo, it was birthday on Wednesday the 15th of April. I felt great about this birthday because Wednesday seems to be my special “Birthday Day”. Do you have one of those? The day of the week that your birthday seems to fall on most frequently? Lara’s is Sunday. I TOTALLY agree with that. It seems like her birthday is always on Sunday. We tried to do the maths on this but if you give it a try you’ll probably discover, as we did, that it gets boring fast. This “Birthday Day” could actually be one of those false associations you have in your head, like Monday=Red. Three=Blue. We’ve all got those associations, don’t lie. Anyway, my most birthday-y day is Wednesday.

Wednesday was also the day I had to go back to work after a few days off and the day everyone was going back to work after protester/state of emergency madness…but guess what? I wasn’t feeling fabbo in the morning so I decided to work from home. And work I did! Promise!

But don’t worry, I didn’t just work on my birthday. Lara was still in town until midday so we had a quick lunch before she headed to the airport, and after work I went out to meet my former Aceh-housemate Mike, who was coincidentally passing through Bangkok on the way to Laos!

Because it was my birthday I decided to take a motorbike across town. I don’t use the motorbike to go across town very often because they are actually more expensive than taxis for longer trips, and the statistical probability of death or serious injury goes off the charts the minute you hop on the back. But I LOOOOOOVE riding the motorbikes, it’s kind of like lollies, you know you can’t do it too often because it’s bad for you. But on my birthday I can eat all the lollies I like!

Mike was staying in Samsen Rd, nearby the backpacker mecca, Khao San Rd. Khao San Rd is also the heart of Songkran festivities…which I failed to take into account when I decided to take the motorbike. I got well Songkraned. This is me arriving at Mike’s guest house:

Songranization

Songranization

Mike gloated that he was clever enough to have taken a taxi from the city earlier. Thinks he’s so smart. We headed out to get some dinner but wait…what was that Mike?

Mike gets Songkraned

Mike gets Songkraned

Suck it smart boy!

So just a quick bit of background: At Songkran the streets turn into massive battle grounds and the weapons are water pistols, buckets of ice water, hoses…and chalk paste. Kind souls walk up to you, smear it on your face and wish you “Happy New Year!’ Thanks guys!

The girl on the right side of this photo is being wished a happy new year!

Songkran at Khao San Rd

Songkran at Khao San Rd

Yes, you’re right. It’s the best holiday in the history of the world.

When it was time to go home I battled through the throngs to find another motorbike for the trip home. It was pretty messy. This is me when I got home:

Happy Birthday Songkran Sarah

Happy Birthday Songkran Sarah

Easter Songkran

I tried to come up with a clever contraction for Easter and Songkran but the best I could do was Songkreaster, which was can all admit is the worst name for a holiday ever.

Technically Easter Sunday was the day before the beginning of Songkran (Thai New Year) but the Songkran holiday had well and truly started (as evidenced by the empty streets in Bangkok – many people went back to their home towns).

Lara and I were not sure how to mark Easter Sunday. A couple of hotels were putting on Easter dinner, but we’d already spent the day before at the Oriental.

We talked about how great it would be to eat the food our families were probably eating, so I called home to get more specific details. This year’s Easter Lunch at Fortuna HQ was inspired by traditional Greek Easter: lamb, 15 kinds of vegetable etc. I’m quite sure it was spite that drove my family to eat my favourite food while I was away (and brag about it on the phone). We did some research into Greek restaurants, but there was little to inspire us. So we decided to eat the next best thing – Japanese. Sushi at Easter. Hellooooo. Obvs.

After celebrating the resurrection of Christ with a bento box we headed off to Lumpini Park.

Lumpini Park

Lumpini Park

Keeping in mind that it was the middle of the day during the hottest days of the year, the park might not have been the most sensible choice. But we’re hardcore, so we toughed it out…

…As did Buddha

Buddha on a Bench

Buddha on a Bench

While Jesus gets so much attention on Easter Sunday it makes sense that Buddha took the day off.

What we saw next can only be described with photos.

What's in the water?

What's in the water?

Can see the head

Can see the head

And an arm

And an arm

coming-out-of-the-water-meeting-a-friend

Hello friend, get out of my pipe

Hello I'm huge

Hello I'm huge

This is a monitor lizard, which we discovered, after this one creepily revealed itself to us, are plentiful all over Lumpini park. By the time we left we’d have easily seen ten.

Taking a leaf out of the lizard’s book, we decided to get into the water….

Duckies!

Duckies!

By taking a paddle boat ride! Wow, best idea ever! The most fun you can have in Bangkok for $1.20.

While communing with the creatures of the lake the intrepid adventurers discovered new lands…

Turtle island

Turtle island

When our a voyage of discovery ended we took a rest under a shady tree and cooled off.

The End.

Songkran canceled and stuck indoors.

Today is a public holiday for Songkran, Thai New Year. Songkran is celebrated with massive water fights all over the country. Yes…best holiday ever. Lara and I had planned to head over to Khao San Rd where it’s supposed to get very wet and very fun…

But Songkran was canceled! The Red Shirts are out and about, things are getting a bit messy, a state of emergency has been declared…and the rest of us have to stay home. No water fights for us this year.

The Governor of Bangkok told us all to stay home and my employer told us all to stay home, so Lara and I went out to the shops. But then the shops shut in the middle of the day, which I didn’t think would ever happen in Bangkok, so then we really knew it was time to stay home.

On the way home we saw some Songkran loyalists, committed to fighting the good water fight…bless their souls.

songkran-1

songkran-2

songran-3

songkran-4

The white stuff on the taxi is chalk powder, a key ingredient in the Songkran water fight.

So now Lara and I are housebound. Which is not so bad for the following reasons:

1. We both like indoor pursuits like reading and updating le blog.

2. It is so freakin hot outside that we’d probably find our way back inside regardless of any state of emergency.

3. It gave us an excuse to go shopping for “supplies”, which was fun, but I don’t think we’re very good at it. If we do get stuck inside for an extended period we have jackfruit chips and instant noodles to keep us going.

4. This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for to back up my computers and organise my iTunes.

Any suggestions for what else we could do to pass the long housebound hours?